The future of RAW terrain will be baːn

Plans of the area in Friedrichshain

The future of RAW terrain will be baːn

Tuesday 05/17/22 | 12:33 PM | to Stephen Roaldt

picture: D B A / C. Matzka

Functional first, then neglected, then a place for parties and now an urban investment property: the RAW site in Friedrichshain. Site plans will be presented on Tuesday Stephen Roaldt commented. In short: it rises.

It is the perpetual cycle of the city: first, only a piece of land or a useful house, and after that it is worn out and ugly, and even later activists come and party in ugliness, and set themselves up. But one day they receive a visit from investors. They bring with them concepts and money, they call everything “real estate” and only talk about “investment projects”. The names of these projects are written in English and usually have the title “Urban”. Natural accent in the English language: baːn. Former Berlin Reichsbahn repair shop, RAW for shorton Warschauer Strasse should now become truly ‘urban’.

The letter “L” stands for saving the past into the future

In this planned future, which will begin with large construction projects on the RAW site, everything that has made the most elegant party venue in Berlin over the past 25 years is missing. But this is the price of being urban: Astra Kulturhaus, Haubentaucher and some facilities around a climbing tower, suicide circus or gallery, for example, have to be believed in whole or in part.

Investors give the RAW location kind of grandfather with a small “L” shaped street. But there is evolution everywhere. The heart of RAW, the L-shaped street, is set to be flanked by a tower: 100 meters high, a sort of analogue of the neighborhood’s Amazon tower. The idea of ​​the argument to sell everything as a kind of profit for the lumpy face exclusively of RAW is “floor area in square metres”: so if offices are built here, there is no need to create offices from halls and sheds below.

Investors’ plans for the site envision that the bikes will also have separate platforms here in the future, it shows the urban youth with a small city backpack in a latte and organizes everything that has just happened so far. A shopping center and a number of other very elegant things will be built – offices, shops, restaurants and perhaps also apartments are part of the designs.

Then everyone interpreted the designs individually: “Almost all of the facilities” on the RAW site were maintained, according to investor BZ Lauritz Kurth. But it is also part of the plans that only the outer walls of the covered beach bar and divers should remain, and that a market hall be built there, where glass floors will be built for trade. Astra has to “move” in investor talk.

Archive photo: Tourists take a guided tour of the RAW site.  (Source: dpa / J. Kalaene)

From millions to millions

Dozens of clubs and businesses with hundreds of members and several hundred employees have been based in the homes, sheds and halls of the site since the mid-1990s, according to information from the pre-pandemic period. Hundreds of thousands of visitors and guests regularly celebrate here, walk here, listen to concerts or meet. All this was made possible by activists who, for a long time, were mainly represented by the RAW-Tempel Association and who gave many social and cultural projects a home on the site.

There have been plans to develop the site for decades. As a railroad repair shop, it was no longer used very quickly after the reunification, then closed in 1994 and after about ten years of obscurity, the railroad itself became public with the idea of ​​building on it. It belonged to her, part of the German Reichsbahn in the German Democratic Republic.

But after seven years nothing happened and the railway was sold to a development company. After disputes, several new owners took over the site. In 2015, the Kurth Group from Göttingen acquired three-quarters of the site: about 50,000 square metres.

In 2015, the newspaper Berliner Zeitung described this purchase as the “acquisition of one of the largest and most exciting open spaces” in Berlin. The purchase price was unknown at the time, and the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported it at €20 million, buyers contradicted the newspaper and only said it was less. Eight years ago, the group of buyers paid four million for the entire 100,000-square-meter site. One can roughly guess how the owners could balance their holdings there today.

There is a lot of money in the neighborhood

The idea and call for change is now coming from upscale neighborhoods everywhere. The population has changed as a result of new construction on waste lands and redevelopment. There is a lot of money here now. Especially at night and with little attention. For this reason it must now be more precisely defined along the ways in which the festivities and leisure time will be held. The party area, which will be redefined in the future, will be accessed from Warschauer Straße with a direct connection to the M10 party line, and the S-Bahn will also take you directly into battle.

Rough project submission

The initial draft, which will now be announced, is the core of four proposals developed and discussed in the so-called “discussion workshops” and last presented in February. Discussion groups made up of property owners, residents, operators and politicians called themselves dialogue workshops. The idea was as much agreement as possible – consensus. The planned transformation start date is 2024. This peace plan is due to be announced on Tuesday evening.

Broadcast: rbb24 Inforadio, May 17, 2022, 9:20 a.m.

Contribution by Stefan Rooldt

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